Christina Woodard is a preacher’s daughter. Her definition of leadership gives her away: “a stewardship position that is divinely appointed and is neither deserved nor earned.”
Even so, she confesses her dad’s leadership example once irked her. At every church potluck, he stationed himself at the end of the line, insisting that everyone else was served before he filled his plate.
“I saw leadership in a way that more people in society see leadership – the head, the person who’s in charge, the person in a position of power, which is earned,” Woodard said. “I realized that’s not what a leader really is when I started turning back to the example my dad set for me – not coming to be served but coming to serve others.”
At a mere 26 years old, Woodard serves in more ways than most could ever hope to.
A paralegal at Elkins Law Firm, she founded the San Angelo Professional Paralegal Association to provide her peers educational and social opportunities.
As president of the local chapter of the Texas Exes, she recently addressed a state gathering of the University of Texas’ alumni group on how San Angelo attracts brand-name UT speakers.
She is vice president of the Young Professionals of San Angelo, a member of the City’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, founder of the Texas Royals spirit group (which raises money for Alzheimer’s research) … and perhaps San Angelo’s most enthusiastic transplant.
“I tell everyone I know I feel like I’m from here,” she said. “Because they’ve made it feel like home.”
A journalism student at UT, Woodard turned to a legal career after interviewing six working journalists for a class project. Each pleaded with her not to pursue the profession. She enjoyed her college job as a legal clerk, so she opted to become a paralegal – essentially an attorney’s right hand. She planned to later attend law school.
“But I landed in a wonderful town and I landed with an amazing boss,” she said. “There’s just been no reason to leave.”
Saying she “can’t not be involved,” Woodard raves about how San Angelo has embraced her passion for public service. She speculates too few of her peers are plugged in enough to know about the vast opportunities to serve here. Others her age may mistakenly believe they’re not seasoned enough or won’t be taken seriously in established organizations, she said.
“In San Angelo, these people engage you,” Woodard said. “So you get on these boards, you should be prepared to work. They want to hear what you have to talk about. And they want to take you and help you have a dynamic presence in the town.”
Woodard also serves as a one-woman tourist bureau for family and friends. Her tours during their visits often include water lilies, Lake Nasworthy’s steamboat, local shops and eateries, and prairie dogs.
“At the end of the day, they’re like, ‘Man! I wish I could be from San Angelo. I completely understand why you live there,’” she said.